Alfred Wheeler’s Duster
- By Norman Fine
Here’s a small, nicely-framed painting of a foxhound by a respected English artist born in the mid-nineteenth century. It is priced at $4,500 by an equally respected art gallery in New York. If I were starting my own collection of sporting art and still had wall space in my home (and my other bills were paid), I would buy it.
The painting is a head-and-neck portrait of an Old (traditionally-bred) English foxhound, clearly from the days when English hunt staff cropped the ears―happily no longer practiced. It’s not terribly creative. Rather formulaic when compared to another painting by the same artist―this other hound being one in a set of five small paintings of four hounds and a pair of hunters from the Duke of Beaufort’s establishment. The two are similar in anatomy, view, and shading technique but different in the ear and eye details.